US 20030138650 A1
In a first embodiment a polyoxetane-polyester polymer comprising a hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymer containing repeat units derived from polymerized oxetane monomers having one or two pendant —CH2—O— (CH2)n-Rf groups wherein Rf is partially or fully fluorinated, where the polyoxetane prepolymer is esterified with polyester forming reactants to form the polyoxetane-polyester polymer, and said polymer is mixed with a reactive lower alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde to form a thermoformable coating composition. In a second embodiment, the coating composition is based on a polyester mixed with the lower alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde and is substantially free of the polyoxetane. The coating composition is partially cured in a first stage heating at less than about 180° F. to provide a thermoformable partially cured, tack-free, non-blocking, coating layer, followed by application to generally a contoured substrate and thermoformed to conform thereto. The contoured partially cured coating layer is then heat cured at temperatures above at least 180° F. for time sufficient to form a cured coating.
1. A process for forming a laminate, comprising the steps of:
applying a mixture of a coating composition comprising a blend of a polyester polymer and an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde to a substrate and forming a laminate;
partially curing said coating of said laminate, and
subsequently thermoforming and crosslinking said coating composition.
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16. An article of furniture, comprising:
a thermoformed laminate comprising a coating on a substrate adhered to the article, said coating comprising a polyester polymer reacted with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde which is cured on said substrate in at least two stages.
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 This is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/091,754, filed Mar. 6, 2002 entitled TWO STAGE THERMOFORMABLE FLUORINATED POLYOXETANE-POLYESTER COPOLYMERS, which is in turn a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 09/698,554, filed Oct. 27, 2000 entitled CURED POLYESTER CONTAINING FLUORINATED SIDE CHAINS, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 09/384,464, filed Aug. 27, 1999, entitled POLYESTER WITH PARTIALLY FLUORINATED SIDE CHAINS, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 09/244,711, filed Feb. 4, 1999, entitled EASILY CLEANABLE POLYMER LAMINATES, which in turn is a continuation in part of prior application Ser. No. 09/035,595, filed Mar. 05, 1998, entitled EASILY CLEANABLE POLYMER LAMINATES, all five of which are herein incorporated by reference.
 This invention pertains to thermoformable coatings applied to substrates, and more particularly to typically two stage heat curable coatings applied to thermoformable substrates such as plastics. The coating is partially cured in a first stage to form a thermoformable coating layer adhered to the substrate, and heat cured in a second stage to additionally cure the coating and provide a hard surface coating on an article having a desired configuration.
 More specifically, in a first embodiment this invention relates to fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymers containing polyoxetane derived from polymerizing oxetane monomers having partially or fully fluorinated pendant side chains. Polyoxetane-polyester polymers have many of the desirable properties of fluorinated polymers and the ease of processability of polyesters. The desirable properties of the fluorinated oxetane polymers are due to the fluorinated side chains and the tendency of the fluorinated side chains to be disproportionately present at the air exposed surface when cured. The fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymers are cured with an alkyl modified melamine formaldehyde crosslinker comprising an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde resin.
 In a second embodiment, it has been discovered that a suitable coating for various applications can be made with a polyoxetane free polyester and cured in a multi stage process. Specifically, the coating comprises a polyester which is cured using an alkyl modified melamine formaldehyde cross-linking agent, more specifically, alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde. Evaluation of these polyoxetane free compositions indicate that they have a good balance of properties and are suitable for coating thermoformable substrates.
 Thermoformable sheet substrates such as PVC are used with polymeric coated surfaces comprising crosslinked polymers to provide hard surfaces exhibiting considerably increased durability to the molded top surface. In the past, coating integrity and hardness were achieved with various types of crosslinked polymers to form a tough polymer network, which worked well with flat surfaces. However, highly crosslinked polymeric coatings have limited extensibility and elasticity and consequently cannot be thermoformed into contours and configurations without cracking and similar coating integrity failure, which ordinarily occur during the thermoforming process. These thermoforming processes utilize a thermoformable substrate such as poly(vinyl chloride) surface coated with a polymeric coating which thermosets while thermoforming into a desired configuration. For these kinds of applications, traditional thermoset films fail. Hence, it would be highly desirable to have a crosslinked coating system for coating thermoformable sheet substrates with sufficient coating integrity and extensibility to adhere to the PVC substrate, while exhibiting sufficient flexibility to maintain coating film integrity during the subsequent thermoforming process.
 Melamine crosslinked polyester coatings are commonly used in low and high pressure laminates having flat surfaces. High pressure laminates typically consist of a multi-layer paper impregnated with melamine based coatings, where the impregnated laminate is cured at relatively high temperature and pressure to produce a finished article having a hard and durable surface. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 4,603,074 discloses a plasticized PVC polymer layer having a polymeric surface coating comprising a reactive carboxyl functional polyester crosslinked with alkylated benzoguanamine, urea or melamine formaldehyde resin. The PVC can be printed and/or embossed prior to application of the polymeric surface coating, but the cured coating lacks flexibility and is not extensible and cracks during the thermoforming process. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,033,737 teaches plasticized PVC sheet substrate having a surface coating comprising a water-based polyester crosslinked with amino resin activated by an acid catalyst.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,650,483 describes the preparation of oxetane monomers useful to form oxetane polymers with pendant fluorinated chains. The oxetane polymers in this patent are characterized as having low surface energy, high hydrophobicity, oleophobicity and a low coefficient of friction. That patent is incorporated by reference herein for teachings on how to prepare the oxetane monomers and polymers. Additional patents issued on variations of the oxetane monomers and polymers are as follows: U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,468,841; 5,654,450; 5,663,289; 5,668,250, and 5,668,251, all of which are also incorporated herein by reference.
 It has been found that a fluorinated polyoxetane modified polyester polymer adapted to be crosslinked with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde will provide a polymeric surface coating suitable for application to a substrate such as PVC and can be cured in generally two stages comprising, a first low temperature stage to form a partially cured thermoformable polymeric layer applied to the PVC substrate, and a second higher temperature stage in conjunction with thermoforming the thermoformable layer and the PVC substrate into a desired configuration, where the applied surface coating is more fully cured and forms a hard surface coating. The two stage reactive etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking component produces a thermoformable laminate of partially cured tack free thermoformable surface coating in the first stage, and a cured, hard coating in the second stage with the applied and cured laminate residing on a contoured article.
 In accordance with the present invention, a thermoformable surface coating for application to a thermoformable substrate, such as a plastic sheet, and subsequent thermoforming into a desired configuration is based on a polymeric coating comprising a reactive fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer adapted to be cured with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde. The alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde can have two different lower alkyl groups etherified with available methylol groups on the melamine formaldehyde molecule. In the first stage, low temperature drying and curing at temperatures up to about 180° F. (82° C.) provides a partially cured thermoformable coating adhered to the thermoformable substrate. In the second thermoforming stage, the thermoformable coating is further cured at higher temperatures to conform the coated substrate to the desired configuration and provide a hard surface coating. The fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer comprises minor amounts of hydroxy terminated polyoxetane copolymerized polyester reactants to provide a polyester containing from about 0.1% to about 10% by weight copolymerized fluorinated polyoxetane in the fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer. The reactive thermoformable coating of this invention preferably comprises on a weight basis from about 10% to 80% alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde with the balance 20% to 90% being fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer on a total resin weight basis.
 In a further embodiment of the invention, it has been found that a coating having suitable properties for certain applications and for the above mentioned multi stage process, can be made as described above except that the polyester polymer contains relatively small amounts of and is substantially free or completely free of any fluorinated polyoxetane component.
 Thus, it has been found that a polyester polymer may be crosslinked with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde to provide a polymeric surface coating suitable for application to a thermoformable substrate such as PVC and wherein the coating is partially cured to a tack free surface and subsequently cured and thermoformed to a three dimensional or contoured surface. The substantially polyoxetane free polyester can be cured in generally a two step process comprising a first low temperature stage to form a partially cured thermoformable polymeric coating layer applied to a polymer thus forming a laminate, and a second higher temperature stage including thermoforming the laminate into a desired configuration, for example a three-dimensional configuration, wherein the alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde and polyester mixture is more fully cured and crosslinked and forms a hard surface coating.
 The coating is based on a polymeric coating comprising a polyester polymer cured with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde. The alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde can have one or more lower alkyl groups or etherfied substituents having from 1 to 6 carbon atoms such as methylol and/or butylol groups. As with the prior embodiment, in the first stage, low temperature drying and curing at temperatures up to about 180° F. (82° C.) provides a partially cured thermoformable coating adhered to the thermoformable substrate. In the second stage, the thermoformable coating is conformed to the surface of the article to be coated and subsequently the coating is cured or crosslinked at higher temperatures. The polyester-melamine reaction mixture is substantially free of any fluorinated polyoxetane.
 The thermoformable coating composition of this invention comprises an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking agent and a reactive fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer which when partially cured forms a thermoformable coating layer which can be thermoformed. The polyoxetane-polyester is generally a block copolymer, and the curing generally occurs in two stages.
 In accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, modified amino resins comprising a lower alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde resin are utilized as crosslinking resins for the fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer, and also to crosslink the polyester in the second embodiment of the invention. The etherified melamine formaldehyde resin is generally etherified with one or more alkyl groups derived from an alkyl alcohol set forth hereinbelow. Preferred alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde resins comprise mixed alkyl groups in the same melamine formaldehyde molecule. Mixed alkyl groups comprise at least two different alkyl groups, for example, methyl and butyl. Useful alkyl groups comprise lower alkyl chains of 1 to about 6 carbon atoms where 1 to about 4 carbon atoms are preferred. Preferred mixed alkyl groups comprise at least two alkyl chains having a differential of at least two carbon atoms such as methyl/propyl, and preferably a three carbon atom differential such as methyl/butyl.
 Melamine formaldehyde molecules ordinarily comprise a melamine molecule alkylated with at least three formaldehyde molecules and more typically alkylated with four or five formaldehyde groups, while most typically fully alkylated with six formaldehyde groups to yield methanol groups, e.g. hexamethylolmelamine. In accordance with this invention, at least two, desirably three or four, and preferably five or six of the methanol groups are etherified. A melamine formaldehyde molecule can contain mixed alkyl chains etherified along with one or more non-etherified methanol groups (known as methylol groups), although fully etherified groups are preferred to provide essentially six etherified alkyl groups. Some of the melamine formaldehyde molecules in a melamine formaldehyde can be non-alkylated with formaldehyde (i.e. iminom radicals), but preferably minimal to avoid undesirable rapid premature curing and to maintain controlled two-stage crosslinking in accordance with this invention.
 Mixed alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking resins used in this invention can be produced in much the same way as conventional mono-alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde is produced where subsequently all or most methylol groups are etherified, such as in hexamethyoxymethylmelamine (HMMM). A mixed alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde can be produced by step-wise addition of two different lower alkyl alcohols or by simultaneous coetherification of both alcohols, with step-wise etherification being preferred. Typically lesser equivalents of the first etherified alcohol relative to the available methylol equivalents of melamine formaldehyde are utilized in the first step to assure deficient reaction of alkyl alcohol with available formaldehyde groups, while excess equivalents of the second alcohol are reacted relative to remaining equivalents of formaldehyde in the second step to enable full or nearly full etherification with both alcohols. In either or both alcohol etherification steps, reaction water can be removed by distillation, or by vacuum if necessary, to assure the extent of coetherification desired. A preferred commercial mixed alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde is Resimene CE-7103, sold by Solutia comprising mixed methyl and butyl alcohol etherified with melamine formaldehyde. The preferred mixed alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde exhibits temperature sensitive curing where reactivity is in two stages to provide a partially cured thermoformable laminate which can be more fully or fully cured at higher temperatures to provide hard surfaces.
 In accordance with the first embodiment of this invention, the fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester, (i.e. the “polyFOX” modified polyester) polymer which generally is a block copolymer contains a preformed fluorine modified polyoxetane having terminal hydroxyl groups. Hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymers comprise polymerized repeat units of an oxetane monomer having a pendant —CH2—O—(CH2)n—Rf group prepared from the polymerization of oxetane monomer with fluorinated side chains. These polyoxetanes can be prepared in a manner as set forth herein below, and also according to the teachings of U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,650,483; 5,668,250; 5,688,251; and 5,663,289, hereby fully incorporated by reference. The oxetane monomer desirably has the structure
 wherein n is an integer from 1 to 5, preferably from 1 to 3, and Rf, independently, on each monomer is a linear or branched, preferably saturated alkyl group of from about 1 to about 20, preferably from about 2 to about 10 carbon atoms with a minimum of 25%, 50%, 75%, 85%, or 95%, or preferably 100% perfluorinated with the H atoms of said Rf being replaced by F, R being H or an alkyl of 1 to 6 carbon atoms. The polyoxetane prepolymer can be an oligomer, a homopolymer, or a copolymer.
 The repeating units from said oxetane monomers desirably have the structure
 where n, Rf, and R are as described above. The degree of polymerization of the fluorinated oxetane can be from 6 to 100, advantageously from 10 to 50, and preferably 15 to 25 to produce a partially fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer.
 The hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymer comprising repeat units of copolymerized oxetane monomers ordinarily have two terminal hydroxyl groups. Useful polyoxetanes desirably have number average molecular weights from about 100, 250, 500, 1,000 or 5,000 to about 50,000 or 100,000, and can be a homopolymer or a copolymer of two or more different oxetane monomers. The polyoxetane prepolymer may be a copolymer including very minor amounts of non-fluorinated cyclic ether molecules having from 2 to 4 carbon atoms in the ring such as tetrahydrofuran and one or more oxetane monomers as described in the previously incorporated U.S. Pat. No. 5,668,250. Such a copolymer may also include very minor amounts of copolymerizable substituted cyclic ethers such as substituted tetrahydrofuran. The repeat unit from a tetrahydrofuran monomer has the formula —(O—CH2—CH2—CH2—CH2—). In some embodiments, the hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymer can include from 0% or 0.1% to 10%, advantageously 1% to 5%, and preferably 2% to 3% copolymerized THF based on the weight of the preformed hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane copolymer. The preferred polyoxetane prepolymer contains two terminal hydroxyl groups to be chemically reacted and bound into the polyoxetane-polyester polymer.
 The fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymers are made by a condensation polymerization reaction, usually with heat in the presence of a catalyst, of the preformed fluorinated polyoxetane with a mixture of at least one dicarboxylic acid or anhydride and a dihydric alcohol. The resulting fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer is a statistical polymer and may contain active hydrogen atoms, e.g., terminal carboxylic acid groups and/or hydroxyl groups for reaction with the alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking resin. The ester forming reaction temperatures generally range from about 110° C. to about 275° C., and desirably from about 215° C. to about 250° C. in the presence of suitable catalysts such as 0.1% dibutyl tin oxide. Preferred carboxylic acid reactants are dicarboxylic acids and anhydrides. Examples of useful dicarboxylic acids include adipic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, cyclohexane dioic acid, succinic acid, terephthalic acid, isophthalic acid, phthalic anhydride and acid, and similar aliphatic and aromatic dicarboxylic acids. A preferred aliphatic dicarboxylic acid is adipic acid and a preferred dicarboxylic aromatic acid is isophthalic acid. Generally, the aliphatic carboxylic acids have from about 3 to about 10 carbon atoms, while aromatic carboxylic acids generally have from about 8 or 10 to about 25 or 30 carbon atoms.
 Useful polyhydric alcohols generally have from about 2 to about 20 carbon atoms and 2 or more hydroxyl groups, where diols are preferred. Examples of useful polyols, especially diols, include ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, diethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, glycerin, butylene glycol, higher alkyl glycols such as neopentyl glycol, 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-propanediol, and polyols such as trimethylol propane, 1,4-cyclohexaned imethanol, glycerol pentaerythritol, trimethylolethane. Mixtures of the polyols and polycarboxylic acids can be used where diols and dicarboxylic acids dominate and higher functionality polyols and polyacids are minimized. An example of a preferred reactive polyester is the condensation product of trimethylol propane, 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-propanediol, 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol, isophthalic acid or phthalic anhydride, and adipic acid.
 The fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer is made by a condensation polymerization reaction in the presence of heat and usually a catalyst with the above noted dicarboxylic acids or anhydrides and the above noted diols. The polyester component of the present invention can be formed by reacting the ester forming reactants in the presence of a preformed intermediate fluorinated polyoxetane oligomer, polymer, or copolymer to provide an ester linkage derived from esterifying a dicarboxylic acid or anhydride with the preformed polyoxetane. Alternatively, a preformed polyester intermediate can be formed from diols and dicarboxylic acids, which is then reacted with the preformed fluorinated polyoxetane oligomer, polymer, or copolymer to form the ester linkage between the respective preformed components. Thus, block copolymers are generally formed.
 In preparing the hydroxyl or carboxyl functional polyoxetane-polyester polymer, it is preferred to pre-react, the hydroxyl terminated fluorinated polyoxetane oligomer, polymer, or copolymer, (polyoxetane prepolymer) with dicarboxylic acid or anhydride to assure copolymerizing the fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer into the polyoxetane-polyester polymer via an ester linkage, which increases the percentage of fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer incorporated into the polyoxetane-polyester polymer. A preferred process to form the ester linkage comprises reacting the hydroxyl terminated fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer with excess equivalents of carboxylic acid from a linear dicarboxylic acid having from 3 to 10 or 30 carbon atoms such as malonic acid, or succinic acid, or glutaric acid, or adipic acid, or pimelic acid, or maleic acid, or fumaric acid, or cyclic cyclohexane dioic acid, under conditions effective to form a polyoxetane ester intermediate from the hydroxyl groups of the polyoxetane prepolymer and the carboxylic acid group of the dicarboxylic acid or anhydride. More desirably, the excess of carboxylic acid groups is at least 2.05 or 2.1 equivalents reacted with one equivalent of hydroxy terminated polyoxetane prepolymer to provide a predominantly carboxyl terminated intermediate prepolymer. The reaction temperature is generally from about 110° C. to about 275° C. and desirably from about 215° C. to about 250° C. In the preferred embodiment for producing the ester intermediate prepolymer, the amount of other diols are small or zero to force the carboxylic acid groups to react with the hydroxyl groups of the fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer. Desirably, the equivalents of hydroxyls from other diols are less than 0.5, more desirably less than 0.2 and preferably less than 0.1 per equivalent of hydroxyls from the fluorinated polyoxetane prepolymer until after at least 70%, 80%, 90%, or 95% of the hydroxyl groups of the polyoxetane prepolymer are converted to ester links by reaction with the dicarboxylic acid.
 The preferred carboxylic acid functional polyoxetane intermediate can then be reacted with other diol and dicarboxylic acid reactants to form the polyoxetane-polyester polymer. Although excess hydroxyl or carboxyl equivalents can be utilized to produce either hydroxyl or carboxyl functional polyoxetane-polyester polymer useful in this invention, preferably excess hydroxyl equivalents are copolymerized to provide a hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane-polyester polymer. Polyoxetane repeating units are usually disproportionately present at the surface of the coating due to the low surface tension of those polymerized units. The amount of surface fluorine groups can be determined by XPS (x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy).
 While not as desirable, an alternative route of reacting the hydroxyl terminated fluorinated polyoxetane oligomer, polymer, or copolymer (polyoxetane prepolymer) can be reacted directly with a preformed polyester. In this procedure, the various polyester forming diols and dicarboxylic acids are first reacted to form a polyester block which is then reacted with a polyoxetane prepolymer.
 The amount of fluorinated polyoxetane copolymerized in the polyoxetane-polyester polymer is desirably from about 0.1% to about 10%, advantageously from about 0.5% to about 5%, and preferably from 0.5% to about 2% or about 3% by weight based on the weight of the fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer. If the hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymer includes a significant amount of copolymerized comonomer repeat units from tetrahydrofuran or other cyclic ether, the hydroxyl terminated polyoxetane prepolymer weight can exceed the level of copolymerized oxetane repeating units noted immediately above by the amount of other copolymerized cyclic ether other than oxetane used to form the polyoxetane copolymer.
 In another embodiment of the invention, the base resin is the polyester as described hereinabove except that it contains relatively small amounts, or is substantially free, or is completely free of any fluorinated polyoxetane block. The amount of fluorinated polyoxetane therein is generally less than about 2 or about 1% by weight, desirably less than about 0.5% or about 0.1% by weight, and preferably completely free of any fluorinated polyoxetane based upon the total weight of the polyester. The polyesters which are utilized are the same as set forth hereinabove and are made in the same manner such as reacting the monomers at the above indicated reaction temperature in the presence of a suitable catalyst such as tin oxide and the like. Moreover, the monomers utilized to form the polyester are the same as set forth hereinabove and can be aliphatic poly- or di-carboxylic acids having from 3 to about 10 carbon atoms or aromatic poly- or di-carboxylic acids having from 8 or 10 to about 25 or 30 carbon atoms or anhydrides thereof. Examples of useful dicarboxylic acids include adipic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, cyclohexane dioic acid, succinic acid, terephthalic acid, isophthalic acid, phthalic anhydride and acid, and similar aliphatic and aromatic dicarboxylic acids.
 Useful polyhydric alcohols generally have from about 2 to about 20 carbon atoms and 2 or more hydroxyl groups, with diols being preferred. Examples of useful polyols, especially diols, include ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, diethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, glycerin, butylene glycol, higher alkyl glycols such as neopentyl glycol, 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-propanediol, and polyols such as trimethylol propane, 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol, glycerol pentaerythritol, trimethylolethane. Mixtures of the polyols and polycarboxylic acids can be used where diols and dicarboxylic acids dominate and higher functionality polyols and polyacids are minimized.
 An example of a preferred reactive polyester is the condensation product of trimethylol propane, 2,2-dimethyl-1,3-propanediol, 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol, isophthalic acid or phthalic anhydride, and adipic acid. Another preferred polyester resin is supplied by Eastman Chemical under the trade designation 57-5776, which is an oil free polyester polyol having an equivalent weight of about 315 and a hydroxyl number of about 178. The polyester of the second embodiment generally has a number average molecular weight of from about 300 to about 25,000, desirably from about 500 to about 12,000, and preferably from about 750 or 1,500 to about 2,500 or about 5,000.
 The amount of the various components in the coating will be generally specified in relationship to 100% by weight of resin solids of the polyoxetane-polyester or of the polyester resin polymer and the alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde. The weight percent of alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking agent in the coating is at least 10%, desirably from about 10% to about 80%, preferably from about 20% to about 70% and most preferably from about 40% to about 60% by weight of the resin binder solids of the coating composition of this invention, with the balance being fluorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer or in the second embodiment the polyester polymer.
 The etherified melamine formaldehyde of this invention can be used with a strong catalyst such as para-toluene sulfonic acid (PTSA) or methyl sulfonic acid (MSA). Useful acid catalysts can include boric acid, phosphoric acid, sulfate acid, hypochlorides, oxalic acid and ammonium salts thereof, sodium or barium ethyl sulfates, sulfonic acids, and similar acid catalysts. Other preferred useful catalysts include dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid (DDBSA), amine blocked alkane sulfonic acid (MCAT 12195), amine blocked dodecyl para-toluene sulfonic acid (BYK 460), and amine blocked dodecyl benezene sulfonic acid (Nacure 5543). Ordinarily from about 1% to about 15% and preferably about 3% to about 10% acid catalyst is utilized based on polyalkyletherified melamine formaldehyde and polyester resin used, or in the second embodiment the polyester polymer.
 The amount of catalyst used is an amount that effectively catalyzes the mutual partial curing of the polyoxetane-polyester polymer, or in the second embodiment the polyester polymer, and alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde resin in the first stage as well as second stage curing under conditions chosen at elevated curing temperatures. In accordance with this invention, the first stage curing temperature is between about 120° F. (49° C.) and 170° F. (77° C.) or 180° F. (82° C.), while the second stage curing temperature is above 180° F. (82° C.) and preferably between about 190° F. (88° C.) and about 300° F. (149° C.).
 The amount of carriers and/or solvent(s) in the coating composition can vary widely depending on the coating viscosity desired for application purposes, and solubility of the components in the solvent. The solvent(s) can be any conventional solvent for polyoxetane-polyester and melamine formaldehyde crosslinker resin systems. These carriers and/or solvents include ketones of from 3 to 15 carbon atoms e.g. methyl ethyl ketone or methyl isobutyl ketone, alkylene glycols and/or alkylene glycol alkyl ethers having from 3 to 20 carbon atoms, acetates and their derivatives, ethylene carbonate, etc. Suitable alcohol solvents include C1 to C8 monoalcohols such as methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl alcohols, as well as cyclic alcohols such as cyclohexanol. Illustrative U.S. patents of the carrier and/or solvent systems available include 4,603,074; 4,478,907; 4,888,381 and 5,374,691, which are hereby incorporated by reference for their teachings both of carriers and/or solvent systems for polyesters. Most acetate type solvents can be used, e.g. n-butyl acetate, where a preferred solvent is n-propyl acetate. The amount of solvent(s) can desirably vary from about 20 parts by weight to about 400 parts by weight per 100 parts by weight of total polyoxetane-polyester blocks or of the polyester blocks, and the etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinker resin solids.
 Conventional flattening agents can be used in the coating composition in conventional amounts to control the gloss of the coating surface to an acceptable value. Examples of conventional flattening agents include the various waxes, silicas, aluminum oxide, alpha silica carbide, etc. Amounts desirably vary from about 0 or about 0.1 to about 5 or about 10 parts by weight per 100 parts by weight total of resin solids of polyoxetane-polyester polymer and etherified melamine formaldehyde.
 Additionally other conventional additives can be formulated into the coating composition for particular applications. For example, polysiloxanes can be used to improve scratch and mar resistance. This may be particularly advantageous where the polyester does not include the fluorinated polyoxetane component. In particular, a suitable polysiloxane can be polyether modified alkyl polysiloxane, including for example, polyether modified dimethylpolysiloxane copolymer, such as that sold by BYK-Chemie under the trade designation BYK-333. Other examples of additives include viscosity modifiers, antioxidants, antiozonants, processing aids, pigments, fillers, ultraviolet light absorbers, adhesion promoters, emulsifiers, dispersants, solvents, crosslinking agents, etc.
 The thermoformable coatings of this invention can be applied to thermoformable substrates such as polymers or plastics. Examples of useful substrates that can be coated with coating compositions derived from this invention include cellulosic products (coated and uncoated paper), fibers and synthetic polymers including such as PVC preferably, or thermoplastic polyester, thermoplastic polyolefins, alpha olefin polymers and copolymers, polyvinyl acetate, and poly(meth)acrylates and similar thermoformable flexible or semi-rigid or rigid substrates. The substrate can be with or without a backing, with or without printing or embossment or decoration.
 Intermediate coating(s) known as decorative coatings to provide a monochromatic or multicolored background or a printed (patterned) background can be likewise produced in accordance with this invention. Decorative coatings include designs, flowers, figures, graphs, maps, etc.
 The thermoformed coated plastic substrate such as PVC also can be applied to a preformed contoured, i.e., three dimensional, solid structure or article, such as wood, to form a laminated article of a high draw or contoured article. Useful articles for example can be contoured cabinet doors, decorative formed peripheral edges on flat table tops, and similar contoured furniture configurations, as well as table tops and side panels, desks, chairs, counter tops, furniture drawers, hand rails, moldings, window frames, door panels, and electronic cabinets such as media centers, speakers, and similar contoured configurations.
 The cured applied coatings retain film integrity characteristics free of undesirable cracking while exhibiting improved extensibility during the thermoforming step and having significantly improved durability, chemical resistance, stain resistance, scratch resistance, water stain resistance, and similar mar resistance characteristics, as well as good surface gloss control on the fully laminated product.
 The thermoformable substrate film or layer, supported or unsupported, printed or unprinted, or decorated, single or multiple colored, can be smooth or embossed to texture the substrate surface to provide a pattern or design for esthetic or functional purposes. Embossing of thermoplastic films, layers or sheets is well known and is usually carried out by passing the film between an embossing roll and a backup roll under controlled preheating and post-cooling conditions.
 In accordance with both embodiments of this invention, controlled generally two stage temperature dependent curing depends on the softening point of the thermoformable substrate. In particular, a wet coating is applied to a substrate (e.g. plastic) and dried to form a composite of dried coating on the substrate. The composite is then partially cured at low temperatures to form a thermoformable laminate of partially cured coating adhered to the substrate. As noted above, the first stage partial curing temperatures are at web temperatures below 180° F. (82° C.), desirably between about 120° F. (49° C.) and about 170° F. (77° C.), and preferably between about 150° F. (66° C.) and about 160° F. (71° C.), to form the laminate of partially cured thermoformable coating adhered to the substrate. Dwell time is broadly between about 2 seconds and about 60 seconds, preferably between about 10 seconds and about 20 seconds, depending on the partial curing temperature. The first stage low temperature partial curing provides a thermoformable polymeric coating while avoiding thermosetting crosslinking to form the thermoformable laminate, which can be thermoformed into any desired contour or shape. The intermediate thermoformable coating is advantageously extensible and should exhibit at least about 150% elongation at 180° F. (82° C.) after the first stage partial curing step. Generally, partial curing is about 70% to about 80% of the full cure of a fully cured coating. The resulting thermoformable laminate is tack free, avoids blocking or inter surface adhesion between adjacent layers when rolled or stacked in sheets, and further avoids deformation due to accumulated weight due to rolling or stacking.
 In the second stage, the thermoformable laminate can then be applied to the surface or surfaces of a three dimensional article or structural form with established contours, draws, or configurations and fully cured at high temperatures above 181° F. (83° C.), and preferably from about 190° F. (88° C.) to about 300° F. (149° C.) web temperature, to provide a hard, fully cured, crack-free, mar resistant coating. Dwell time is broadly between about 30 seconds and about five minutes depending on the curing temperature. The contoured structural article, as noted above, can be a solid substrate, such as an unfinished contoured desktop which can, for example, be wood, or wood based composite where the thermoformable laminate is contoured, thermoset, and adhered directly to the contoured solid article. Alternatively, the form can be a mold for forming a free standing thermoset contoured laminate adapted to be adhered subsequently to an unfinished contoured article. The fully cured surface exhibits considerable mar resistance along with other cured film integrity properties. Cured or fully cured coatings exhibit MEK resistance of at least about 50 MEK rubs and preferably at least about 75 MEK rubs. It is readily seen that two stage step-wise heating can be achieved in two or more multiple heat curing steps to provide partial curing and full curing in accordance with this invention. Preferably, the final products are articles of furniture such as cabinets, desks, chairs, tables, molding, shelves, doors, or housings such as for appliances, or electronic components.
 The following examples will serve to illustrate the present invention in respect to Preparation of Mono and Bis(Fluorooxetane) Monomers. Various fluorinated oxetane monomers can be made in accordance with U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,650,483; 5,668,250; 5,668,251; and 5,663,289; which have been fully incorporated by reference. While the following representative examples relate to the preparation of specific FOX (fluorooxetane) monomers, other mono or bis FOX monomers can be prepared in a very similar manner.
 Preparation of 3-FOX Monomer 3-(2,2,2-Trifluoroethoxymethyl)-3-Methyloxetane
 Synthesis of the 3-FOX oxetane monomer is performed as follows:
 A dispersion of 50 weight percent (2.8 grams, 58.3 mmol) sodium hydride in mineral oil, was washed twice with hexanes and suspended in 35 milliliters of dimethylformamide. Then, 5.2 grams (52 mmol) of trifluoroethanol was added and the mixture was stirred for 45 minutes. A solution of 10.0 grams (39 mmol) of 3-hydroxymethyl-3-methyloxetane p-toluenesulfonate in 15 milliliters of dimethylformamide was added and the mixture was heated at 75° C.-85° C. for 20 hours, when 1H MNR analysis of an aliquot sample showed that the starting sulfonate had been consumed.
 The mixture was poured into 100 milliliters of ice water and extracted with 2 volumes of methylene chloride. The combined organic extracts were washed twice with water, twice with 2 weight percent aqueous hydrochloric acid, brine, dried over magnesium sulfate, and evaporated to give 6.5 grams of 3-(2,2,2-trifluoroethoxymethyl)-3-methyloxetane as an oil containing less than 1 weight percent dimethyl formamide. The yield of this product was 90%. The oil was distilled at 30° C. and 0.2 millimeters mercury pressure to give 4.3 grams of analytically pure 3-FOX, corresponding to a 60% yield. The analyses of the product were as follows: IR (KBr) 2960-2880, 1360-1080, 990, 840 cm−1; 1H NMR δ1.33 (s, 3H), 3.65 (s, 2H), 3.86 (q, J=8.8 Hz, 2 H), 4.35 (d, J=5.6 Hz, 2 H), 4.51 (d, J=5.6 Hz, 2 H); 13C NMR δ20.72, 39.74, 68.38 (q, J=40 Hz), 77.63, 79.41, 124 (q, J=272 Hz). The calculated elemental analysis for C7 H11F3O2 is: C=45.65; H=6.02; F=30.95. The experimental analysis found: C=45.28; H=5.83; F=30.59.
 Pentafluoropropanol, BrMMO, Tetrabutyl Ammonium bromide, and water were added to a 500 ml round bottomed flask equipped with a magnetic stirrer, thermometer, and addition funnel. The reactor was heated to 85° C., and 45% aqueous potassium hydroxide was added over 1 hour. The reactor was allowed to stir for an additional 4 hours. A 2-phase reaction mixture with a light yellow organic phase resulted. The reaction mixture was poured into a separatory funnel where the aqueous phase was removed. The organic layer was separated and washed with 45% potassium hydroxide, and deionized water. 152.31 grams of light yellow crude 5-FOX monomer was isolated. 15.40 grams of hexane was added, and the mixture was distilled. Low boilers distilled at 55° C.-60° C. at atmospheric pressure. The mixture was slowly subjected to vacuum, and additional low boilers were collected below 70° C. The vacuum was slowly increased, and 5-FOX monomer distilled from 96° C.-102° C. The vacuum was 28 inches of mercury. 133.85 grams of pure 5-FOX monomer was isolated, or 85%. Both 1H and 13C spectra are consistent with 5-FOX monomer C8H11F5O2 molecular weight =234.16.
 Preparation of 7-FOX Using PTC Process 3-(2,2,3,3,4,4,4-Heptafluorobutoxymethyl)-3-Methyloxetane:
 A 2 L, 3 necked round bottom flask fitted with a reflux condenser, a mechanical stirrer, a digital thermometer and an addition funnel was charged with 3-bromomethyl-3-methyloxetane (351.5 g, 2.13 mol), heptafluorobutan-1-ol (426.7 g, 2.13 mol), tetrabutylammonium bromide (34.4 g) and water (85 ml). The mixture was stirred and heated to 75° C. Next, a solution of potassium hydroxide (158 g, 87% pure, 2.45 mol) in water (200 ml) was added and the mixture was stirred vigorously at 80°-85° C. for 4 hours. The progress of the reaction was monitored by GLC and when GLC analysis revealed that the starting materials were consumed, the heat was removed and the mixture was cooled to room temperature. The reaction mixture was diluted with water and the organic layer was separated and washed with water, dried and filtered to give 566 g (94%) of crude product. The crude product was transferred to a distillation flask fitted with a 6 inch column and distilled as follows:
 Fraction #1, boiling between 20° C.-23° C./10 mm-Hg, was found to be a mixture of heptafluorobutanol and other low boiling impurities, was discarded;
 Fraction #2, boiling between 23° C. and 75° C./1 mm-Hg, was found to be a mixture of heptafluorobutanol and 7-FOX, was also discarded; and
 Fraction #3, boiling at 75° C./1 mm-Hg was >99% pure 7-FOX representing an overall yield of 80.2%
 NMR and GLC data revealed that 7-FOX produced by this method was identical to 7-FOX prepared using the sodium hydride/DMF process.
 Preparation of 3,3-bis(2,2,2-trifluroethoxymethyl)oxetane(B3-FOX):
 Sodium hydride (50% dispersion in mineral oil, 18.4 g, 0.383 mol) was washed with hexanes (2×) and was suspended in DMF (200 mL). Then trifluoroethanol (38.3 g, 0.383 mol) was added dropwise over 45 min while hydrogen gas was evolved. The mixture was stirred for 30 min and a solution of 3,3-bis-(hydroxymethyl)oxetane di-p-toluenesulfonate (30.0 g, 0.073 mol) in DMF (50 mL) was added. The mixture was heated to 75° C. for 64 h when 1H NMR analysis of an aliquot showed that the starting sulfonate had been consumed. The mixture was poured into water and extracted with methylene chloride (2×). The combined organic extracts were washed with brine, 2% aqueous HCl, water, dried (MgSO4), and evaporated to give 17.5 g (100%) of 3,3-bis-(2,2,2-trifluoroethoxymethyl)oxetane as an oil containing DMF (<1%). The oil was purified by bulb-to-bulb distillation at 42° C.-48° C. (10.1 mm) to give 15.6 g (79%) of analytically pure B3-FOX, colorless oil: IR (KBr) 2960-2880, 1360-1080, 995, 840 cm−1; 1H NMR δ3.87 (s 4H), 3.87 (q,J=8.8 Hz, 4H), 4.46 (s, 4H); 13C NMR δ43.69, 68.62 (q,J=35 Hz), 73.15, 75.59, 123.87 (q,J=275 Hz); 19F NMR δ74.6(s). Anal. Calcd, for C9H12F6O3; C,38.31;H, 4.29; F, 40.40. Found: C, 38.30; H, 4.30; F, 40.19.
 Preparation of oligomers, polymers or copolymers from the fluorinated oxetane monomers described herein can be made in accordance with U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,650,483; 5,668,250; 5,668251; or 5,663,289; hereby fully incorporated by reference.
 The following examples demonstrate the merits of this invention.
 An example of preparing a poly-FOX-THF copolymer is as follows:
 A 10 L jacketed reaction vessel with a condenser, thermo-couple probe, and a mechanical stirrer was charged with anhydrous methylene chloride (2.8 L), and 1,4-butanediol (101.5 g, 1.13 moles). BF3THF (47.96 g, 0.343 moles) was then added, and the mixture was stirred for 10 minutes. A solution of 3-Fox, 3-(2,2,2-trifluoroethoxyl-methyl)-3-methyloxetane, made in accordance with U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,650,483; 5,668,250; 5,663,289; or 5,668251, (3,896 g. 21.17 moles) in anhydrous methylene chloride (1.5 L) was then pumped into the vessel over 5 hours. The reaction temperature was maintained between 38° C. and 42° C. throughout the addition. The mixture was then stirred at reflux for an additional 2 hours, after which 1H NMR indicated >98% conversion. The reaction was quenched with 10% aqueous sodium bicarbonate (1 L), and the organic phase was washed with 3% aq. HCl (4 L) and with water (4 L). The organic phase was dried over sodium sulfate, filtered, and stripped of solvent under reduced pressure to give 3,646 g (91.2%) of title glycol, a clear oil. NMR: The degree of polymerization (DP) as determined by TFAA analysis was 15.2 which translates to an equivalent weight of 2804. The THF content of this glycol, as determined by 1 H NMR, was 2.5% wt THF (6.2% mole THF). This example was included to teach how to polymerize partially fluorinated oxetane polymers.
 Methylene chloride (1019.003 grams, 11.99 moles, 766.17 ml) was charged to a 4 liter jacketed reaction vessel equipped with a reflux condenser, mechanical stirrer, temperature probe, monomer addition pump, and jacket temperature control. Neopentyl glycol (21.756 grams, 0.21 moles) and BF3THF (11.689 grams, 0.08 moles) were charged to the reactor with a temperature of 25° C. The neopentyl glycol dissolved upon addition of BF3THF. The reaction was allowed to stir for 30 minutes. 5-FOX monomer addition was commenced with a reaction temperature of 25° C., and a reaction exotherm was observed within 5 minutes. Once the exotherm started, 5-FOX monomer was added over 75 minutes. The maximum temperature observed was 36.3° C. After complete addition of the monomer, the reaction mixture was heated to 35° C. for 4 hours. A sample was taken and analyzed by NMR, and a degree of polymerization of 21.35 was observed. Additional methylene chloride was added (283.4 grams, 213.08 ml). The reaction mixture was neutralized with 5% sodium bicarbonate solution (421.078, 21.0539 grams sodium bicarbonate, 0.2506 moles). The methylene chloride-polymer layer was then washed with deionized water (832.363 grams). A pH of 7 was observed. The water phase was separated. The polymer phase is distilled under reduced pressure to remove methylene chloride and dry the polymer.
 About 963.61 grams of poly-5-FOX-THF Copolymer DP 21.35 were isolated.
 Methylene chloride (717.50 grams, 8.45 moles, 541.1 ml) was charged to a 10 liter jacketed reaction vessel equipped with a reflux condenser, mechanical stirrer, temperature probe, monomer addition pump, and jacket temperature control. Neopentyl glycol (67.20 grams, 0.645 moles) and BF3THF (28.21 grams, 0.201 moles) were charged to the reactor with a temperature of 25° C. The neopentyl glycol dissolved upon addition of BF3THF. The reaction was allowed to stir for 30 minutes. A solution of Elf-FOX monomer (1717.02 grams, 3.227 moles, 1226.4 ml), 3-FOX monomer (1,782.99 grams, 9.682 moles, 1550.4 ml), and Heloxy 7 (147.17 grams, 0.645 moles, 161.73 ml) in Oxsol 2000 (1995.00 grams, 1683.5 ml) was prepared. Addition of the monomer solution was commenced with a reaction temperature of 25° C., and a reaction exotherm was observed within 7 minutes. Once the exotherm started, monomer was added over 1 hour 55 minutes. The maximum temperature observed was 40.0° C. After complete addition of the monomer, the reaction mixture was heated to 35° C. for 4 hours. A sample was taken and analyzed by NMR, and a total FOX degree of polymerization of 18.67 was observed. The reaction mixture was neutralized with 5% sodium bicarbonate solution (2576.97 grams, 128.85 grams sodium bicarbonate, 1.53 moles). The methylene chloride-polymer layer was then washed with deionized water (2576 grams). A pH of 7 was observed. The water phase was separated. The polymer phase is distilled under reduced pressure to remove methylene chloride and dry the polymer. 3632.4 grams of poly-3-FOX-co-Elf-FOX 25% DP 18.67 was isolated. Final characterization showed 23.5% Elf-FOX, and a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 2640.6.
 Synthesis of Poly-3-FOX-Z 10 Copolymer
 An oxetane copolymer was produced in the same manner as described in Example 3 except the weight ratio of monomers was 90% 3-FOX monomer and 10% Z 10 monomer produced by DuPont. Z10 monomer is an oxetane monomer with mixed pendant fluorinated alkyl alcohol chains.
 Synthesis of Fluorinated Polyoxetane-Polyester Polymer Blocks
 Two different hydroxyl terminated fluorinated polyoxetanes were used to prepare different polyoxetane-polyester polymers according to this invention. The first polyoxetane had 6 mole percent repeating units from tetrahydrofuran (THF) with the rest of the polymer being initiator fragment and repeating units form 3-FOX where n=1, Rf is CF3, and R is CH3. The number average molecular weight of the first polyoxetane was 3400. The second polyoxetane had 26 mole percent of its repeating units from tetrahydrofuran with the residual being the initiator fragment and repeating units from 3-FOX. 3-FOX is also known as 3-(2,2,2-trifluoroethoxylmethyl)-3-methyloxetane.
 The first and second fluorinated oxetane polymers were reacted with at least a 2 equivalent excess (generally 2.05-2.10 excess) of adipic acid in a reactor at 455° F. for 3.5 hours to form a polyoxetane having the half ester of adipic acid as carboxyl end groups. The preformed ester linkage and terminal carboxyl groups will chemical bond the polyoxetane to a subsequently in-situ formed polyester. NMR analysis was used to confirm that substantially all the hydroxyl groups on the polyoxetane were converted to the ester groups. The average degree of polymerization of the first oxetane polymer was reduced from 18 to 14 during the reaction with adipic acid. The average degree of polymerizations of the second oxetane polymer remained at 18 throughout the reaction. The reactants were then cooled to 300° F.
 The adipic acid functionalized polyoxetane was then reacted with additional diacids and diols to form polyester blocks. The diacids were used in amounts of 24.2 parts by weight of adipic acid and 24.5 parts by weight of isophthalic acid or phthalate anhydride. The diols were used in amounts of 20.5 parts by weight of cyclohexanedimethanol, 14.8 parts by weight neopentyl glycol, and 16.0 parts by weight trimethylol propane. The relative amounts of the adipate ester of the oxetane polymer and the polyester forming components were adjusted to result in polyoxetane-polyesters with either 2 or 4 weight percent of partially fluorinated oxetane repeating units. The diacid and diol reactants were reacted in the same reactor used to form the carboxyl functional polyoxetane but the reaction temperature was lowered to 420° F. The reaction to form the polyoxetane-polyester polymer was continued until the calculated amount of water was generated. The finished batch sizes were from 20 to 30 gallons.
 The resulting polyoxetane-polyester polymer was formulated into coating compositions according to “Coating Preparation” set forth hereinafter. The polyoxetane-polyester polymers were mixed with an alkyl etherified melamine formaldehyde resin Resimene CE-7103, a highly monomeric, methyl/butyl etherified melamine formaldehyde sold by Solutia.
 Flurorinated polyoxetane-polyester polymer was mixed with Resimene CE-7103 methyl/butyl etherified melamine formaldehyde crosslinking agent. The poly 5-FOX-polyester polymer is made from a poly-5-FOX polymer as made in example 2 and is reacted with adipic acid to form an ester linkage having a terminal carboxyl group and subsequently reacted with ester forming monomers in a manner substantially as set forth in Example 5 wherein the acids are adipic acid and phthalate anhydride.
 The polyether modified dimethylpolysiloxane copolymer (BYK 333) was added to improve scratch and mar resistance.
 The fumed silica (Degussa TS100) was added to control the coating gloss.
 The micronized fluorocarbon wax was added to improve scratch and mar resistance.
 Coatings were applied to PVC substrate sheets with a gravure coater and dried in a forced air oven and then partially cured at 150° F. to 160° F. for 10 to 20 seconds to form a partially cured thermoformable coating film. Coating weights were 6-8 grams/square meter of substrate. The PVC substrate was 0.012 inch thick with a lightly embossed surface (E13 embossing).
 The coated samples were thermoformed to MDF wood board using a Greco membrane press. The press cycle is described below.
 1. Coated PVC is placed over a MDF board
 2. Flexible membrane is laid over PVC film and MDF board
 3. The membrane is heated to 280° F. (138° C.) to thermoform and cure
 4. A vacuum pulls the membrane tightly around PVC film and MDF board (thermoforming). Heat is maintained for 1 minute
 5. Heat is removed and membrane is allowed to cool for 1 minute while vacuum is maintained
 6. After 1 minute cooling, vacuum is released and sample is removed
 7. Maximum surface temperature of PVC is measured and recorded with a temperature indicating tape.
 The following test procedures were used to measure coating durability (resistance to coating cracking).
 Scratch resistance was measured with a “Balance Beam Scrape Adhesion and Mar Tester” that is manufactured by the Paul N. Gardner Company, Inc. A. Hoffman stylus was used to scratch the coatings. The scratch resistance is the high stylus load the coating can withstand without scratching.
 Mar resistance was determined by firmly rubbing a polished porcelain pestle on the coating surface. The severity of a mark is visually assessed as:
 A cloth towel was soaked with MEK and gently rubbed on the coated surface in a back and forth manner. One back and forth movement was counted as one rub. The coated surface was rubbed until a break in the coating surface first became visible. The test is stopped after 100 double-rubs.
 After thermoforming the coated PVC films to molded MDF parts, the corners and edges were visually inspected for coating cracks.
 Stain resistance was measured by common household substances published by NEMA Standards Publications LD-3 for High Pressure Decorative Laminates. The method consists of placing a spot of each test reagent i.e. distilled water, acetone, household ammonia, critic acid solution, olive oil, tea, coffee, mustard, providone iodine, stamp ink, #2 pencil, wax crayon, and shoe polish, upon the flat surface of the laminated PVC. The samples were undisturbed for 16 hours and after that the stain reactants were cleaned with different stain removers that are commonly used as commercial cleaners (i.e. 409, Fantastik), baking soda, nail remover, and finally bleach. Depending on the stain severity (high values) or ease (low values) of its removal, the total value from each test sample was determined.
 Coated samples showed significantly greater Hoffman scratch resistance compared to uncoated PVC. The coated+thermoformed sample showed a greater Hoffman scratch resistance compared to the coated sample.
 The burnish resistance of the coated+thermoformed and coated samples were greater than the uncoated PVC.
 The coated+thermoformed sample withstood 90 MEK double rubs and the coated sample withstood 60 MEK double rubs. The greater number of double rubs observed for the coated+thermoformed sample indicates a greater level of curing or postcured that occurs during the thermoforming process. After 4 double rubs, the surface of uncoated PVC began to show streaks.
 The NEMA cleanability score from the thermoformed+coated and coated sample were 16 and 14, respectively. The uncoated PVC showed a cleanability score of 19. After cleaning all of the samples showed a moderate stain from acetone. In addition, the uncoated PVC showed a moderate stain from a permanent marker.
 Coatings were applied to PVC substrate with a #5 wire wound rod and dried in a forced air oven and then partially cured at 165° F. for 30 seconds to form a partially cured thermoformable coating film.
 The melamine/polyester coatings presented in the second embodiment of the disclosure were prepared from the following formulation.
 The polyether modified dimethylpolysiloxane copolymer (BYK 333) was added to improve scratch and mar resistance.
 The fumed silica (Degussa TS100) was added to control the coating gloss.
 The micronized fluorocarbon wax was added to improve scratch and mar resistance.
 The coating prepared with the Polymac 57-5776 polyester were applied to PVC sheets with a #5 wire wound drawdown bar and dried in a laboratory oven at 150° F. (66° C.) for 30 seconds. The PVC substrate was 0.012 inch thick with a lightly embossed surface (E13 embossing).
 Coating prepared with the Omnova Fluorinated Poly-oxetane polyester were applied to PVC sheets with a gravure coater and dried in a forced air oven at 150° F. (66° C.) for 10 seconds. The PVC substrate was 0.012 inch thick with a lightly embossed surface (E13 embossing).
 The coated samples were thermoformed to MDF wood board using a Greco membrane press. The press cycle is described below.
 Coated PVC is placed over a MDF board
 Flexible membrane is laid over PVC film and MDF board
 The membrane is heated to 280° F. (138° C.)
 A vacuum pulls the membrane tightly around PVC film and MDF board (thermoforming). Heat is maintained for 1 minute
 Heat is removed and membrane is allowed to cool for 1 minute while vacuum is maintained
 After 1 minute cooling, vacuum is released and sample is removed.
 Maximum surface temperature of PVC is measured and recorded with a temperature indicating tape.
 The following test procedures were used to measured coating durability
 Scratch resistance was measured with a “Balance Beam Scrape Adhesion and Mar Tester” that is manufactured by the Paul N. Gardner Company, Inc.. A Hoffman stylus was used to scratch the coatings. The scratch resistance given in the table above is the highest stylus load the coating can withstand with out scratching.
 Mar resistance was determined by firmly rubbing a polished porcelain pestle on the coating surface. The severity of a mark is visually assesses as:
 A cloth towel was soaked with methyl ethyl ketone and gently rubbed on the coated surface in a back and forth manner. One back and forth movement was counted as one rub. The coated surface was rubbed until a break in the coating surface first became visible. The test is stopped after 100 double-rubs even if the coated surface remains intact.
 After thermoforming the coated PVC films to molded MDF parts, the corners and edges were visually inspected for coating cracks.
 Stain resistance was measured by common household substances published by NEMA Standards Publications LD-3 for High Pressure Decorative Laminates. The method consists of placing place a spot of each test reagent i.e. distilled water, acetone, household ammonia, citric acid solution, olive oil, tea, coffee, mustard, providone iodine, stamp ink, #2 pencil, wax crayon, and shoe polish, upon the flat surface of the laminated PVC. The samples were undisturbed for 16 hrs and after that the stain reactants were cleaned with different stain removers that are commonly used as commercial cleaners (i.e. 409 Fantastik), baking soda, nail remover, and finally, bleach. Depending on the stain severity (high values) or ease (low values) of its removal, the total value from each test sample was determinated.
 laminated PVC. The samples were undisturbed for 16 hrs and after that the stain reactants were cleaned with different stain removers that are commonly used as commercial cleaners (i.e. 409 Fantastik), baking soda, nail remover, and finally, bleach. Depending on the stain severity (high values) or ease (low values) of its removal, the total value from each test sample was determinated.
 1. The Polyester/Melamine coated sample showed no evidence of coating cracking after thermoforming.
 2. The Polyester/Melamine sample showed greater Hoffman Scratch resistance and greater burnish resistance compared to the Melamine/Fluorinated Poly-oxetane Polyester sample.
 3. The Polyester/Melamine coated sample yielded fewer MEK wipes than the Melamine/Fluoronated Poly-oxetane Polyester sample.
 Overall, the Polyester/Melamine coated sample showed good solvent resistance and durability (scratch and mar). Stain resistance was poorer than the Melamine/Fluorinated Poly-oxetane Polyester coated sample.
 While in accordance with the patent statutes the best mode and preferred embodiment have been set forth, the scope of the invention is not intended to be limited thereto, but only by the scope of the attached claims.